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Eurovision: Ukrainian Mother and Daughter Feel a Sense of Belonging in Liverpool

12 months ago

Eurovision: Ukrainian Mother and Daughter Feel a Sense of Belonging in Liverpool
Ukrainian mum and daughter heading to Liverpool for Eurovision. Credit: PA

Olena Ablaieva and her daughter Vasylysa, originally from Dnipro but now living in London, say they “feel at home” as they’ve travelled to Liverpool for Eurovision.

Olena said they were travelling from London Euston to Liverpool and hope to be able to watch the final at the Pier Head, where the Eurovision Village has been set up as the official fan-zone.

The UK is jointly hosting the contest with Ukraine after last year’s victory by the Kalush Orchestra. UK entry Sam Ryder finished second.

Ms Ablaieva said the train strikes did not affect her plans to head north for the day.

“We do not have tickets, we will watch Eurovision on big screens,” she said.

“We have been living in England for a year in a friendly English family. As it turned out, we have many common interests and family values.

“We hope that the war in Ukraine will end soon and all Ukrainian families will be able to be together in safety.

“We knew in advance about the strikes on the railway in London, but we had no doubts about our trip to Liverpool. It is important for us to feel the whole atmosphere of Eurovision for ourselves.”

She continued: “We are looking forward to Eurovision 2023, cheering for Ukraine and supporting England.

“In my opinion, Liverpool is fully prepared for the Eurovision final and it’s nice to see Ukrainian flags and Ukrainian symbols everywhere.

“I feel at home. We appreciate your support and our friendship.

“We also want to do something nice for people from England. I have brought some presents from Ukraine – sweets from AVK, which I want to share with everyone who wants to know a bit more about Ukraine.”

Millions of people around the world will be tuning in to watch the Eurovision final on Saturday, with thousands already spending the week celebrating in Merseyside as the semi-finals got underway earlier this week.

For everything Eurovision click here.

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